A call to the emergency room announced that the ambulance was on its way. Joey, a middle-aged oilfield worker, was experiencing a suspected toxic ingestion of the opioid, fentanyl.
Rising rates of long-term prescription-opioid use highlight urgent need for treatment options for chronic pain and addiction
Across Canada, the tragic spike in opioid-related deaths has brought to national attention the large and complex issue of drug use and misuse.
North America is grappling with an opioids epidemic. British Columbia has even declared a public health emergency because of a significant increase in opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Dr. David Juurlink, Head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto, and Tara Gomes, Epidemiologist and Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and […]
Over the past year I’ve lost track of how many times the opioid epidemic has, in one incarnation or another (Prince, naloxone, fentanyl, newborns in agonizing withdrawal and so on) found its way onto the front page news.
Hundreds of codeine tablets stolen from the medicine cabinet of an elderly person living alone in a rural community. Hydromorphone tablets being distributed at weddings and high school parties. Fentanyl patches being cut up and sold for a profit on the street. This is the reality of the opioid crisis in Canada today
Solving Canada’s opioid epidemic must include tackling what got us into the predicament in the first place
By all accounts we are in the midst of a deadly drug epidemic so severe and widespread few people in North America will remain untouched by it.
In my first career as a pharmacist, I worked in more than 30 pharmacies across Nova Scotia, filling more than 100,000 prescriptions between 1990 and 1995. Some of these were for strong painkillers called opioids — drugs like morphine and oxycodone, which are chemically and biologically very similar to heroin.
“The misuse of opioids has grown exponentially with devastating consequences” – First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis (Canadian Council on Substance Abuse, 2013).